*PLEASE NOTE* The advice given is general in nature and individual circumstances should always be taken into consideration. For specific advice, injury management and exercise programs consult your physio.
The best thing about running is that you don’t need anything to start.
No hefty equipment.
No one to let down the team.
There are no fees.
No time limits.
You just need a pair of shoes and a path.
Get up, lace up and get out there.
But start slow.
Good things take time.
There's no magic distance or time that you have to make to be a runner. If you run consistently, you'll become one.
I've seen a lot of people start running by training for a particular event - smashing themselves, getting injured, hating it, and never doing it again. Not fun, and not recommended for long term positive lifestyle change.
Consistency is key. Make it achievable.
Choose a landmark in walking distance of your house. Walk there, then just run a little bit on the way back - it can be 10m. Whatever you can manage. The next day add more run. The next day more. Keep building, little by little, until you can run the whole way there and home. Until you can do that, don't even think about kms or pace.
I distinctly remember PE classes starting with endless stretches. Newsflash – we don’t do that any more, but it’s important to be prep your body for strenuous movement.
Running asks your foot, ankle, knee and hip joints (and the muscles that move them) to perform, so wake them up before you go.
Dynamic movements are where it’s at to warm up muscles without overstretching the filaments.
Run Your Style likes:
* Pressing through the toes, lifting the heel of the foot (swap/repeat)
* Ankle rolls
* Hip figure-8s (prudent to hold on to something if your balance isn't great)
and pumping out a few squats to get the legs engaged.
Static stretching is still important – but that comes after.
No great inspiration ever came from running on a treadmill.
Soft surfaces like grass are great for starting out.
Unstable surfaces like sand are great for improving joint stability (and hello, can't go past a beach run).
Paths around rivers make nice smooth distance loops.
Trails are amazing - but find your footing on flat ground first.
Go explore. You never know where your run will take you.
1. It’s not about the end point. Enjoy the ride.
2. Food is fuel - but eating just before you go is asking for trouble.
Running makes your bowels move. Trust me – ablutions before you head out.
3. Listen to your body. If you have a niggle get it checked before it becomes a problem. Most running injuries stem from overtraining and underthinking.
4. One day you'll be flying and the next have lead feet. This doesn't mean you're doing it wrong, it just keeps it interesting. They don't call it a journey for nothing.
Go it alone...
Running is the ultimate activity for people who need space from people.
Time alone with your thoughts is very precious in this day and age - running solo gives you that. I've never experienced a better way to find clarity when I'm stressed, or problem solve when there are lots of projects on the go.
Leave the phone at home (at least some of the time) and learn to love the freedom.
but a crew is good too.
Because there's nothing like a bit of healthy competition to keep you honest, and distance is easy when you've got someone to chat to.
Run with different people for different reasons - motivation (for you, or them), friendship, business meetings.
In WA I run regularly with #PerthRunCollective, a community run club with paces for all levels, and know crew running all over the world. Get in touch if you want to share some KMs.